For the past forty years, no resident in the village of Skotino in the Hersonissos municipality of Heraklion, Crete, has taken a puff on a cigarette, according to a story by Tasos Kokkinidis for The Greek Reporter.
Skotino is described as picturesque and a paradise for non-smokers in a country where smoking is prevalent.
Reportedly, none of the village’s approximately 70 residents remembers how or why Skotino became tobacco-smoking free, but somehow its smoke-free status became part of an unwritten law unique to Greece.
It is known, however, that the villagers’ decision to embrace a healthier way of life wasn’t based on an anti-smoking campaign imposed from outside or on any legal prohibition.
“There has been no smoking in this village since the 1970s,” Zaharias Moudatsakis – presumably a resident – reportedly told the local news site Cretapost. “This has passed on to our children, with the result that even the younger generation does not have this bad habit.”
The residents of Skotino are proud of their successful resistance to smoking but they are perplexed as to why there aren’t many more people who follow their lead.
“I am very curious to know why people smoke,” said local resident Vasilis Zervakis. “We know how harmful is smoking … Here in Skotino, we prefer to drink a raki or a wine rather than light up a cigarette.”
Cigarettes are not sold in the village, and even most visitors respect Skotino’s unwritten law.